Anti-Semitism on the rise in the European union, report says


Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission
Europa Press

More than eight decades after the infamous “Night of the Broken Glass” -the progroms that marked the beginning of the Nazi persecution of the Jews in Europe- the efforts of the countries of the EU to combat growing anti-Semitism they are insufficient, denounces a study issued today in Vienna.

The Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) of the European Union (EU) states in its annual report on anti-Semitic incidents that the 27 member countries must “redouble efforts” to combat hatred and prejudice against Jews in Europe.

The director of the FRA, Michael O’Flaherty, recalls in a statement that this fight begins with the systematic registration of complaints and the collection of information, which occurs very unevenly throughout the community bloc.

“Big data gaps remain: few EU countries actually record anti-Semitic incidents that give rise to complete official data. Some countries (Hungary and Portugal) do not collect any official data “, denounces the report.

Few official data

“Anti-Semitism is a serious problem. But without the data, we don’t know how bad it is. The lack of data also prevents us from effectively fighting anti-Semitism, “O’Flaherty insists in a statement, issued today on the occasion of the 83rd anniversary of” Night of Broken Glass “on November 9, 1938.

“FRA surveys show that incidents of anti-Semitism are underreported. They also indicate that the I hate “online” – including anti-Semitism – is firmly entrenched in European societies, “the report adds.

In addition, it highlights the need to adopt national specific strategies, something that not all countries have done.

“Only 13 EU countries have national strategies or action plans to tackle anti-Semitic acts, and six created cooperation mechanisms with civil society organizations to collect data on anti-Semitic incidents, “says the FRA, whose headquarters are in Vienna.

Increase in pandemic

The agency’s available data confirms a increased anti-Semitism during the covid-19 pandemic, especially on the Internet, as reported by the European Comission in a report published last June.

The pandemic “has had a profound impact on Jewish communities across Europe,” underlines the FRA.

According to a survey carried out this year on the occasion of the first community strategy to combat anti-Semitism and promote Jewish life in the EU, a 90% of Jews believe that anti-Semitism has increased in their countries, while 85% say it is a serious problem.

“Anti-Semitic discourse has been rekindled and new anti-Semitic myths and conspiracy theories blaming the Jews of the pandemic have come to the fore “, recalls FRA in its report.

While some data suggests that the lockdowns and closures may have led to fewer anti-Semitic incidents in public spaces, on the other hand, it is during these isolation stages that conspiracy theories proliferated the most in public spaces. social networks.

On the night of November 9, 1938, the nazis organized in Germany and annexed Austria massive persecutions against the Jewish population, which left dozens dead, hundreds wounded, hundreds of synagogues destroyed and thousands of people interned in concentration camps.

After deportation and murder of some six million European Jews During World War II, the Jewish communities of Europe were reconstituted on the continent after 1945.

The Jewish population of Europe is currently about 1.3 million people, with two-thirds of them living in France, the UK (not a member of the EU) and Germany.

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